Returnee Eagle, Odion Ighalo, has been named by Gernot Rohr in the starting 11 against the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, a clear indication the Eagles want to attack the Islanders. Ighalo takes the place of Kelechi Iheanacho – the only replacement to the team that started against Liberia last Saturday in Morocco.
The Super Eagles need a point to stay top of Group C and qualify for the last phase of qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled for Qatar.
The Super Eagles must be cautious and not sit back, inviting the Blue Sharks to attack as the visitors have nothing to lose by losing in Lagos.
Ahmed Musa has assured Nigerians that the pressure not to lose will bring out the best in the team as they seek another step towards their sixth participation in the World Cup.
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Kick-off is 5.00 p.m.
Both teams are out on the pitch of the Teslim Balogun Stadium and the national anthems of both countries being recited.
The Nigeria national team observing their traditional prayer session ahead of official kick off
Shout of Ighalo in the stands as he gets the game underway with the centre pass
Fast start by the Super Eagles and they win the first corner kick
Goal!!! Osimhen shoots Nigeria into the lead
Osimhen pushing for another goal but quickly dispossessed
The linesman flags Osimhen for a rough tackle
Goal..Cape Verde score an equaliser. Number 20 makes it 1-1
Free kick for Cape Verde..Ndidi commits a foul
It’s barely 10 minutes of action at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Nigeria 1-1 Cape Verde
Iwobi with a weak shot straight into the hands of the Cape Verde goalkeeper
Awaziem brought down and wins a free kick for the Eagles
Osimhen gets an elbow to his face and wins a free kick in a promising position for Nigeria
Moses Simon lobs it but the Cape Verde defenders clear for a corner kick
Though inconsequential, Liberia are leading Central African Republic 2-0 in the other Group C tie
Moses Simon appears injured.. he is presently being attended to by the medics
Ighalo with a miss from close range!!
Aribo tries a pass to Osimhen but the Napoli striker is flagged offside
Ighalo with a pass to Aribo who fires a shot but was saved by the Cape Verde goalkeeper
Chance for Eagles .. Osimhen with a nice cross but the header by Ighalo went slightly over the bar
Moses Simon tries a direct free kick but pushed over for a corner kick
Two minutes added time
Half Time: Nigeria 1-1 Cape Verde
Half Time Analysis: Nigeria 1-1 Cape Verde
The Super Eagles have played better despite the scoreline and forced the Cape Verde goalkeeper, Ryan Mendes, into at least two excellent saves-both from Joe Aribo. After Victor Osimhen scored in the first minute of the game, William Troost-Ekong carelessly gave away the corner kick, from which Stopira scored.
Unfortunately, it was also Ekong who was marking the Cape Verde goal scorer.
After the equaliser the Eagles created chances but Mendes has almost single-handedly kept the Islanders in the game.
Ighalo’s inclusion has not paid the expected dividend as the Al Shabab forward missed a glorious scoring chance in the 26th minute when he produced an air shot right in the middle of the box.
Gernot Rohr might decide to rejig his two forwards to give the team more impetus in the Cape Verde box. As it is, the Eagles are into the last round of the World Cup qualifiers but there are still 45 minutes to navigate.
The second half is underway as Cape Verde take the centre pass
Cape Verde keeper rushes out for another save to deny Ighalo
Jamilu Collins with a well taken cross but Osimhen could not connect
Brave goalkeeping by Okoye as Cape Verde come close
A flurry of changes by the Cape Verde coach.. Rohr yet to make any
Rohr finally brings in Shehu Abudulahi for injured Moses Simon
Free kick for Nigeria
The fans at the Teslim Balogun Stadium are now chanting ” All we are saying.. Give us one more goal”
Osimhen gets a thunderous applause from the fans for his energetic display
Kelechi Iheanacho and Frank Onyeka already in for Ighalo and Aribo
Leon Balogun booked for a rough tackle
Big scare for Nigeria as Cape Verde come quite close for a late goal
osimhen had been taken off for Paul Onuachu
Three minutes added time
Full Time Nigeria 1-1 Cape Verde